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Review: THE KAT & DAVE SHOW: AN EVENING WITH DAVID FOSTER & KATHARINE MCPHEE at Providence Performing Arts Center

Review: THE KAT & DAVE SHOW: AN EVENING WITH DAVID FOSTER & KATHARINE MCPHEE at Providence Performing Arts Center

It was one of those shows that you did not quite know what to expect. Being an 80's kid, I knew the mastery of David Foster, mostly from my infatuation with Chicago, but didn't know if this show with singer-songwriter and wife Katharine McPhee would be more of a hit concert redux or a Christmas show or something completely different. It proved to be a wonderful mix of all.

Foster started off their Providence Performing Art show with a personal favorite-the love theme from "St. Elmo's Fire", just a wonderful piano piece (with a streamed appearance by Kenny G!) but what set this evening apart was Foster's humorous anecdotes, giving us the background on some of his hit songs. The other "St. Elmo's Fire" hit, "Man In Motion" was something forced on Foster from the movie execs who wanted a "more up-tempo song". Foster and his co-writer penned "Man in Motion" from the journey of fellow Canadian Rick Hansen, a paraplegic wheel chairing around the world.

Foster said if you listen to the song, you can tell it wasn't written for the movie (they simply dropped "St. Elmo's Fire" into a couple of spots in the song) especially the line "all I need's this pair of wheels".

These kinds of stories went on throughout the 90-minute, no-intermission performance. Foster was still admittedly bitter about missing out on an Academy Award not once but three times, the first time for "Glory of Love" from Karate Kid 2, who lost to Top Gun's "Take My Breathe Away".

"I hate that song," Foster laughed, though he did put together a humorous piece with "Man In Motion" as the theme for Top Gun.

Foster was joined often by McPhee, her beautiful voice belting out "Singin' in the Rain", "Jingle Bell Rock" and "Cry Me a River" but he had other guests who were equally incredible from Pia Toscano, whose rendition of the Foster/Celine Dion's "Power of Love" and Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love you" from the Bodyguard movie (his second bitter Academy loss) was nothing short of stunning. His final Academy snub, also sung by Toscano, was another Celine Dion song, "The Prayer".

Fernando Varela, who started out the night singing Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up" only to be joined by Groban on the song remotely, finished off the night with a stunning "Nessun Dorma" that easily rocked the house down to its core.

Foster's bandmates were all famous in their own right as well, with drummer John Robinson, known for such drumming hits as Michael Jackson's "Can't Stop" and "Rock with You", Lionel Ritchie's "All Night Long" as well as Keyboardist Bo Cooper, who spent years with Peter Cetera. Foster told the audience how Kenny Rogers had reached out asking him to write a hit song for him. Foster and Cooper ran over, so excited about their song and Rogers simply told them it would never be a hit. That song was "You're the Inspiration" that went to number three on the Billboard charts for arguably the best album ever produced, "Chicago 17".

The show helped to add focus to all the great songs Foster was a part of over the years, many you have never realized like "After the Love Has Gone" by Earth, Wind & Fire to Boz Scaggs "Look What You've Done to Me" and the number 1 Chicago smash "Hard to Say I'm Sorry".

The show finished on a high with a Foster original Christmas song "My Grown Up Christmas List", a song he hopes to secure classic status someday but seemed happy enough to just play the piano and hear his wife sing the poignant song that seemed a perfect way to end the night. If you get a chance to see this show, take it. It was more incredible then ever I dreamed. A little bit of humor, nostalgia, and a whole lot of incredible songs, singers and piano playing that made for such perfect night.

For tickets at any Providence Performing Arts show, go to www.ppacri.org



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From This Author - Jay Pateakos

Jay Pateakos has been a newspaper journalist since the late 1990’s, branching off into theatre reviews more than 10 years ago, reviewing more than a hundred plays for the Herald News and Cape... (read more about this author)


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